Chicago Bulls: Bad team defense could be torched by winless Warriors

Stephen Curry Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen Curry Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are looking to come to the United Center and dominate the Chicago Bulls given their bad team defense so far.

While this is not necessarily a must-win game for the Chicago Bulls just three into this 2020-21 regular season slate at home on Dec. 27, it certainly feels like it in some ways. The Bulls and first-year head coach Billy Donovan draw the tough assignment of facing head coach Steve Kerr and the winless Golden State Warriors in the back end of back-to-back games to round out this three game home stretch to start off the regular season schedule.

Both the Bulls and Warriors come into this game winless in four combined tries. The Bulls just fell short to the Indiana Pacers at home on Dec. 26, and they were knocked off on the season opener back on Dec. 23 against star point guard Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks and Pacers beat the Bulls by a combined margin of 39 points.

Meanwhile, the Warriors had a really difficult start to their regular season slate. They lost to the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks to start off their regular season slate. And the Warriors combined margin of defeat in those two games was by more than 50 points.

That could mean that this Warriors team comes out with a huge chip on their shoulder to get a win over this lowly Bulls team to round out the weekend. The Bulls will have to be better, especially on the defensive end of the floor than they were in their first two games.

Two players that must be better in this Bulls starting five, especially against the Warriors on Dec. 27, are second-year point guard Coby White and third-year center Wendell Carter Jr. This Bulls starting five will have the difficult assignment of trying to limit the potency of superstar Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, who will start heating up from deep at some point.

White and WCJ both registered scoring in the single digits, while they both started in each of the first two games to start the season. They haven’t been much of a positive defensive presence for this starting five either.

As a team, the Bulls are posting a defensive rating just south of 118 through two games. They’re allowing 124.5 points per game to start things off, which is good for bottom three in the NBA. Worst of all is how the Bulls are defending down low. The Bulls are last in the NBA in total two-point field goals made and in last in field goal percentage (roughly 55.0).

The Warriors have largely relied on Steph to create all of their offense. And just a lot of shots have not gone down for him through two games. Maybe this is the game where that trend will change for him. As far as the Bulls hopes to win this game are concerned, hopefully this is not the time where Steph finds his rhythm shooting from the field.

Through two games played, Steph is averaging 19.5 points per game, 4.0 rebounds, 8.0 assists, 1.5 steals, and no blocks. And he’s shot just 34.2 percent from the field, 20.0 percent from beyond the arc, and is perfect on nine attempts from the charity stripe.

Curry is not going to shoot 20 percent from downtown forever. The Bulls have to do their best to make sure he doesn’t get in rhythm in this game.

If White winds up drawing this defensive matchup with Steph on the perimeter, he’ll have to be better on-ball. Through two games this season, White registered a 119 defensive rating and is still without even 0.1 defensive win shares. He’s not doing well on-ball on defense so far.

WCJ will also have to be better in general down low for the Bulls to keep the Warriors out of the paint. The Bulls are getting destroyed on the defensive end down low. And that largely falls on the shoulders of WCJ.

Next. 3 reserve players that should get more minutes through two games. dark

The Bulls and Warriors are set to specifically tip off this Dec. 27 meeting at the United Center at 7 p.m. CT. Each team is looking for their first win on the season. And the Bulls are looking to notch their first win before this homestand ends.